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Sports and exercise medicine rising to the challenge
  1. Melissa Novak1,
  2. Marci Goolsby2
  1. 1 Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, USA
  2. 2 Medicine/Sports Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Melissa Novak, Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, USA; mnovak22{at}

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reflect. It changed our lives; changed how we work, socialise, exercise and interact with others. It has magnified the importance of mental health, biases and inequities in patient care, and the role of healthcare workers in society as a whole.

As sports and exercise clinicians, some of us had our clinical roles shifted from traditional clinical practice to direct medical care for COVID-19 patients or managing patients virtually. Many of us, while balancing our clinical patients to the best of our ability, spent hours creating new COVID-19 policies and procedures to maximise athlete safety at the community, high school, collegiate, Olympic/Paralympic and/or professional levels. We did our best to manage athletes affected by COVID-19 and made treatment decisions using guidelines available at the time.1 2 We worked as our own children’s daycares and schools closed; we worked as society around us shut down. Many suffered personal and professional losses while helping others grieve their losses.

Impact on patients and athletes

For our patients, the COVID-19 pandemic created havoc on the status quo of personal and professional lives. Families shifted their work environment and found creative ways to have their children educated remotely. The identities of the youth of the world were impacted …

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed equally in the submission of this editorial. Those listed in acknowledgements reviewed paper and provided comments and/or added a line about the CRNRS.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.